|Remarks by Consul General Zhao Weiping at the 35th Anniversary Reception of Nanjing-St. Louis Sister City Relationship|
April 28, 2014
Honorable County Executive Dooley,
Honorable Former Mayors Conway and Schoemehl,
Ms. Cambell-Jones, Representative of Mayor Slay,
President Peter Wang,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I feel very delighted to visit this beautiful and historic city of St. Louis again. It is my great honor to join you in celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Nanjing-St. Louis Sister City Relationship. On behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, I wish to extend our warmest congratulations to all of you. I also want to thank the St. Louis-Nanjing Sister City Committee for hosting this joyful event.
Nanjing and St. Louis were great pioneers in the development of China-US sub-national relations by establishing the first sister-city relationship in November 1979, only 10 months after the establishment of China-US diplomatic ties. Since then, hundreds of cities in the two countries have followed suit. Now, there are 202 pairs of sister cities and 41 pairs of sister provinces/states between China and the US.
Last month, at the 2014 China-US Sister-City Conference jointly held by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the US Sister Cities International, Nanjing and St. Louis were awarded the "longest US-China Sister City Relationship". This is the honor the two cities obviously deserve. Their contribution is indeed unique and historic.
So many people have devoted their efforts to nurturing this important sister city relationship between Nanjing and St. Louis. I want to start with former Mayor Conway. He initiated this sister relationship by signing the agreement with Nanjing 35 years ago. I appreciate his vision and friendship in this move. Former Mayor Schoemehl and County Executive Dooley have also contributed to this relationship. And current Mayor Slay has always been very supportive to the sister relationship with Nanjing. I wish to thank them all.
Of course, not only government officials have been working hard for this relationship, but also friends from other walks of life. Dr. Glassman is one of them. He served as President of St. Louis-Nanjing Sister City Committee for more than 20 years. His enthusiasm and dedication have been exceptional. I wish to extend to him my sincere congratulation on his winning the "Best Individual" award at the 2014 China-US Sister-City Conference.
Sister-City relationship is really not something only about exchanges and cooperation between cities. Actually, it has far broader implications on the development of overall China-US relations.
China-US relationship is important not only to the benefits of our two countries, but also to the peace, stability and prosperity of the world. Stunning achievements have been made in the development of China-US relations over the last three decades. However, it remains an arduous task for both sides to further strengthen mutual understanding and trust, because of the difference in historical background, cultural traditions as well as political and social systems etc.
This is the task not only for the leaders and senior government official of our two countries, but also for all of us. More exchanges and cooperation at the sub-national level will certainly play a unique role in fostering the mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples, which will in turn solidify the foundation of the development of China-US relations.
Last June, President Xi Jinping and President Obama set the goal of building a new model of major country relationship between China and the US at their summit meeting in California. With the concerted efforts of the governments and peoples of our two countries, this goal will surely be achieved.
I am encouraged by the achievements of the sister-city relationship between Nanjing and St. Louis and I have strong belief in the potential for future growth of this relationship. I hope there will be more exchanges and cooperation between these two wonderful cities and the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago is ready to provide assistance in this regard.